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CHAPTER 13. IT STRATEGIC PLANNING By MESFIN ABEBE RASHAW Instructor Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mustafa ILKAN. Outline . Introduction What are issues General guideline for IT strategic planning How to develop a plan Discussion, Impact, Detection, Actions of issues

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chapter 13

CHAPTER 13

IT STRATEGIC PLANNING

By MESFIN ABEBE RASHAW

Instructor Assoc. Prof. Dr. MustafaILKAN

outline
Outline
  • Introduction
  • What are issues
  • General guideline for IT strategic planning
  • How to develop a plan
  • Discussion, Impact, Detection, Actions of issues
  • Lack of mgt interest once the plan is approved
  • Difficulty linking IT planning factors to the business
  • High mgt expectations of the planning effort
  • Lack of defined business mission or vision
outline cont
Outline cont…

5) Difficulty of showing the benefits of technology projects in the plan

6) Limited or no resources to do the planning

7) Failure of the past planning efforts

8) Deciding the IT plan should be business driven or IT driven

9) Business being unclear about what they would get from the plan

10) Challenge in turning action items in plan into actions

introduction
INTRODUCTION
  • A number of different methods have been proposed for doing IT strategicplanning
  • But many of them failed

Why???

  • They were not pragmatic/practical
  • They were filled with jargons/meaningless
  • They were not common sense
  • While methods change
  • Issues of IT planning do not often change
so what are these issues
So what are these issues

Issues of IT strategic planning

  • Lack of well defined role for mgt and others in the planning process
  • Who is going to do what is not considered

xxx Let’s jut do it

  • What the plan is really intended to accomplish

… not considered

  • How the plan elements are to be linked to the business not clearly determined
  • Old saying:- It makes no sense to do the wrong thing perfectly.
g eneral guidelines for it strategic planning
General guidelines for IT strategic planning
  • have some defined method for getting resources andmoney

for what?

For the action items in the plan after approval

  • Involve as many managers and staff as you can

To get more support for the plan

    • Try to have about half of the action items in the plan be nonproject/
      • i.eThings address policies, procedures, organization, roles
      • Things that can be done without money
how to develop a plan
How to develop a plan

Plan lists and tables of

  • Issues and opportunities
  • objectives
  • Constraints
  • Strategies
  • Action items that can be viewed easily and incrementally
issues and opportunities
Issues and opportunities
  • problems and
  • potential goodthings that can be done related to IT
  • Use a planning tool SWOT
objectives
Objectives
  • Directional goals for IT
  • If goals were achieved there issues would disappear
constraints
Constraints

These are conditions that you have to accept

  • the business focus
  • available money and staff and
  • existing technology

Constraints prevent the objectives from being quickly attained

strategies
strategies

Their purpose is

  • to get around the constraints,
  • to get at the issues whilesupporting the objectives

Strategic planning

  • Strategic planning takes you outside the day-to-day activities of your organisation or project.
  • It provides you with the big picture of what you are doing and where you are going.
  • It gives you clarity about what you actually want to achieve and how to go about achieving it, rather than a plan of action for day-to-day operations
strategic planning cont
Strategic planning cont…
  • Strategic planning enables you to answer the following questions:
  • Who are we?
  • What capacity do we have/what can we do?
  • What problems are we addressing?
  • What difference do we want to make?
  • Which critical issues must we respond to?
  • Where should we allocate our resources?/what should our priorities be?
strategic planning cont1
Strategic planning cont…
  • The most important things for IT strategic planning are
    • Focus/issues of relevancy
      • Synchronization of the organization progress with external exchange
    • Clarity
      • Clearly decide what the organization Wants to do in the future
      • Clear about where we want to go
action items
Action items

These are specific measures to support the strategies and objectives

They include

  • policy
  • organization
  • roles
  • procedures and other changes

In our experience, good plans have halfor more of the action items in these nonproject categories

lack of management interest once the plan is approved
LACK OF MANAGEMENT INTEREST ONCE THE PLAN IS APPROVED
  • Discussion

Effort and time were consumed in the IT plan creation. Management reviewedand approved the plan.

Why on earth they lose interest?

here are somepossible reasons

  • The managers think that if they approve it, the plan will be executed.
  • They think their role is over.
  • Some managers do not want to get involved in implementation.
lack of mgt interest once the plan is approved discussion cont
Lack of mgt interest once the plan is approved discussion cont…

Whatever the reason is,

  • the work on potential projects identified in the actionitems of the plan has not started.
  • The projects have not been funded.
  • Noresources have been allocated to the work.
  • The resource issue is the majorhurdle. If you give resources to someof the planning action items, you take them away from other work(finite limit to pool of resources)
lack of mgt interest cont impact
Lack of mgt interest cont…Impact

If management doesn’t support the IT project

  • problems could arise in implementing the plan
  • People lose interest because they sense a bail out /escape/ by management.
  • The impactis that the plan ends up on the shelf — unused and ignored.
  • The negative effects now propagate. Without an effective IT plan, new technologycan enter to the organization on an ad hoc basis.
  • There is less chance thatthe new project ideas in the plan will ever start and see the light of day. Youmight be able to recover and implement some of the nonproject action itemsthat require no money.
lack of mgt interest cont detection
Lack of mgt interest cont…Detection
  • During the planning effort, is there any interest on management’s part thenwhat happens after the planning effort?
  • Note that you are not looking for greatinterest.
  • Upper management has many other activities and issues to deal with.Maybe management will be interested in giving the money. But that is notenough.
  • The key issue is what will be stopped, shelved, or delayed so that theresources can be placed on the project-oriented action items of the plan.
lack of mgt interest cont actions and preventions
Lack of mgt interest cont…Actions and preventions

Action

  • plan ahead for the resource issues
  • Duringthe planning effort, you might review the progress of the current projects andnonproject work.
  • There is a political reason for the strategic IT plan.
  • IT managementmay want to control support and maintenance work as well as to shelvesome smaller projects or projects that are not doing well.
lack of mgt interest actions and preventions cont
Lack of mgt interest Actions and preventions cont…
  • One benefit IT plan is to provide a basis for making these rather difficultpolitical decisions.
  • During the planning effort, you want to alert managers that resource issueswill arise later. This is a valuable early warning. You cannot assume that uppermanagement is aware of the resource constraints in IT.
  • They may perceive thatIT managers complain a lot but still get the work done. So what if you pile ona few more projects?
difficulty linking it planning factors tothe business
DIFFICULTY LINKING IT PLANNING FACTORS TOTHE BUSINESS
  • Discussion

Business objectives, mission, and vision are vague and fuzzy.

  • IT objectivesare more precise

Example Suppose the missionstatement is

“To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of work and operations.”

  • Now turn to an IT action item: “Implement a new network monitoringsystem.” Very precise and specific.
  • How do you link these? It appears to bevery difficult. Actually, it is not.
difficulty linking it planning factors tothe business discussion cont
DIFFICULTY LINKING IT PLANNING FACTORS TOTHE BUSINESS discussion cont…
  • Let’s move up from the action item to an IT strategy. An applicable IT strategyis “Improve network performance, reliability, and availability.”
  • OK, thatfits as an umbrella over the action item, but you are a long way from the missionstatement.
  • Now move up to the IT objective. One that would fit here is “Implementimproved and modernized IT infrastructure.” This fits too, since the networkis part of the infrastructure.
  • But you are still not linked to the missionelement.What does an “improved and modernized IT infrastructure” have to do withthe business? How does it help the business? Well, the core business processesrely on automation and systems.
difficulty linking it planning factors tothe business discussion cont1
DIFFICULTY LINKING IT PLANNING FACTORS TOTHE BUSINESS discussion cont…
  • This means that the performance of the businessprocesses depends on stable and high-performance infrastructure.What has been covered so far? You went from a detailed action item to theIT strategy and then to the IT objective.
  • Then you linked the IT objectiveto the business processes. But you are not there yet. What next? You mustcome down from the lofty heights of the mission to the business processes.The improvement of work and operations translates into effective businessprocesses.
difficulty linking it planning factors tothe business discussion cont2
DIFFICULTY LINKING IT PLANNING FACTORS TOTHE BUSINESS discussion cont…
  • Mission statement
  • Action items(detailed)
  • IT strategy
  • IT objective
  • Link IT objective to the business
  • Relate mission statement to the business process
  • Translate improvement of work and operations into effective business processes
difficulty linking it planning factors tothe business discussion cont3
DIFFICULTY LINKING IT PLANNING FACTORS TOTHE BUSINESS discussion cont…
  • The underlying message is that the linkage of IT planning to the mission,vision, or objectives is easiest and most supported through business processes.This inherently makes sense because a basic goal of IT is to support processes.
  • Another purpose is to provide management with information.
  • Coming from thebusiness side, there is no way you can attain any business goal without highbusiness process performance.
difficulty linking it planning factors tothe business impact
DIFFICULTY LINKING IT PLANNING FACTORS TOTHE BUSINESS Impact
  • Because of this perceived difficulty, people often stop in the IT planningeffort with the IT objectives.
  • Then there is no linkage to the business factors.
  • Management and business units can then question the value of the plan. Theymay raise the issue of whether IT is aligned to the business.
  • In the most negativeterms, they may question the investment in IT.
difficulty linking it planning factors tothe business detection
DIFFICULTY LINKING IT PLANNING FACTORS TOTHE BUSINESS Detection
  • If the IT planning effort concentrates on the IT factors, then you can sensea problem.
  • The analysis of the business side has to be performed during theplanning effort.
  • In fact, this is a good place to start. Map the mission, vision,or objectives to the business processes.
difficulty linking it planning factors tothe business actions and prevention
DIFFICULTY LINKING IT PLANNING FACTORS TOTHE BUSINESS Actions and Prevention
  • To prevent the problem, follow the guidance in the preceding paragraph.
  • Ifyou find that the planning effort is becoming overfocused on the IT factors,then you can take corrective action to work on the business factors
high managementexpectations of theplanning effort
HIGH MANAGEMENTEXPECTATIONS OF THEPLANNING EFFORT
  • Discussion
  • Management typically likes an IT plan.
  • They know the importance of IT.
  • They may not know much about the systems and technology. It may appearas a foreign language.
  • Today, however, few managers do not realize the needfor IT.

IT plan can be seen by managementas a way of understanding all of the different IT activities from a managerialperspective.

high managementexpectations of theplanning effort discussion cont
HIGH MANAGEMENTEXPECTATIONS OF THEPLANNING EFFORT Discussion cont…
  • Given that managers see the value of the plan, what would senior managersexpect?
  • First, they may have little experience in this
  • Second, they may wantIT to work on more strategic projects and work. They may see IT as doing tacticalstuff. They may feel they are not getting their money’s worth.
  • So the reasonableexpectation is that if they approve the plan, IT will shift to a more strategicfocus.
high managementexpectations of theplanning effort impact
HIGH MANAGEMENTEXPECTATIONS OF THEPLANNING EFFORT Impact
  • High expectations vs reality
  • have a wonderful,approved plan. However, you could be locked into some existing projects.
  • Maintenance and support consume a high percentage of resources.
  • Managementmay want IT to perform wonders but still not provide the money and resourcesas well as support for process change and improvement.
  • What is the effect of all of this? The expectations of management are notmet. Management is disappointed. They think they have given IT enough.
high managementexpectations of the planning effort impact cont
HIGH MANAGEMENTEXPECTATIONS OF THE PLANNING EFFORT Impact cont…
  • Theysee the plan as work substitution in IT. Well, it cannot be the fault of management.
  • So who allocates the resources in IT? The IT manager. Blame him or herfor the problem. It has happened many times in the past. It will happen in thefuture.
high managementexpectations of theplanning effort1
HIGH MANAGEMENTEXPECTATIONS OF THEPLANNING EFFORT
  • Detection

You can sense a problem

  • if management is getting interested in the plan andits recommendations but is not dealing with the resource and money issues.
  • They are seeing the problem from one perspective.
high managementexpectations of theplanning effort actions and prevention
HIGH MANAGEMENTEXPECTATIONS OF THEPLANNING EFFORT Actions and Prevention
  • Lay out some potentialscenarios for what might happen When the IT planning effort is started.
  • We have used this time to emphasize thepolitical benefits of the plan — that of controlling and redirecting resources.
  • Another benefit is that it gives an opportunity for management to have the businessunits pay more attention to IT matters.
lack of a defined business vision or mission
LACK OF A DEFINED BUSINESS VISIONOR MISSION

Discussion

  • Do all businesses have no mission or vision statements?
  • Most do
  • However,many employees may not see how these statements apply to them. After all,they just do their detailed work.
lack of a defined business vision or mission discussion cont
LACK OF A DEFINED BUSINESS VISIONOR MISSION discussion cont…
  • Some companies have developed no vision or mission, for a number ofreasons.
  • The company could have recently been created or
  • the company haschanged. The existing mission or vision, which used to work, is now irrelevant.
  • Some managers do not see the value of the mission or vision. They may dealwith tangible goals.
lack of a defined business vision or mission cont
LACK OF A DEFINED BUSINESS VISIONOR MISSION cont…
  • Detection
  • check whether there is a mission or vision statement

That is simple.

  • examine whether the mission or vision isstill valid and is valued by management.
  • If the statement was defined underprevious management, the new present managers may not view it as especiallyrelevant
lack of a defined business vision or mission detection cont
LACK OF A DEFINED BUSINESS VISIONOR MISSION detection cont…

What do you do?

  • You lack much time to spend on this
  • proceed to map the existing statement
  • You can also analyze the mission or vision statement itself

A completemission or vision should spell out the mission or vision in terms of the followingperspectives:

  • Shareholders
  • Management
  • Employees
  • Processes
  • Customers
lack of a defined business vision or mission detection cont1
LACK OF A DEFINED BUSINESS VISIONOR MISSION detection cont…
  • Here you may uncover gaps and shortcomings.
  • How did this happen? Often,the mission or vision is defined in off-site management meetings.
  • There is timepressure to get this done, since it is often viewed as management overhead.
  • Then there is the cost of the outside coordinator and all of the management.The result — get it done, and now.
lack of a defined business vision or mission actions and preventions
LACK OF A DEFINED BUSINESS VISIONOR MISSION Actions and Preventions
  • several things to address here
  • First, you may have to handle thegaps
  • Take the list of the perspectives
  • Find the missing parts
  • Write downpotential elements for the mission or vision from that perspective. Then you canget this reviewed
  • Do the same when there is no mission or vision. You will need this for theIT plan. This seems unjust. Why should the IT planning effort have to fill inthe missing pieces? Isn’t this a management job? Sure, theoretically and academically
lack of a defined business vision or mission actions and preventions cont
LACK OF A DEFINED BUSINESS VISIONOR MISSION Actions and Preventions cont…
  • However, you need it as part of the planning effort, so it has to bedone.
  • This is not wasted work.
  • First, management will often appreciate it whensomeone uses the mission or vision.
  • Second, they can see the shortcomings of the old missionor vision. They can see the value of filling in the blanks.
difficulty showing the benefits of technology projects in the plan
DIFFICULTY SHOWING THE BENEFITS OFTECHNOLOGY PROJECTS IN THE PLAN
  • Discussion
  • Let’s suppose you have a number of action items, strategies, and objectivesrelating to IT infrastructure and technology.
  • You understand these. The IT staffand supervisors understand them and see their need.
  • The problem here is how to convince nontechnical managers that thesethings are necessary.
  • After all, the network and systems may be operating fine,nearly at 100%. You could try to educate them on IT concepts.
  • This has beentried many times. It largely failed. Why? Because management has no interest.They may think that there are major problems in IT if things are so desperatethat managers have to be involved in IT.
difficulty showing the benefits of technology projects in the plan cont
DIFFICULTY SHOWING THE BENEFITS OFTECHNOLOGY PROJECTS IN THE PLAN cont…

Impact

  • The technology projects may not be improved, since management sees nodirect value to the business work.
  • This is more likely to occur if the managementis focused on the short term: make more profits; increase sales this year.They may see technology payoffs as long term.
difficulty showing the benefits of technology projects in the plan cont1
DIFFICULTY SHOWING THE BENEFITS OFTECHNOLOGY PROJECTS IN THE PLAN cont…

Detection

  • You can detect this issue in IT if the individuals involved in the planningassumes that the benefits of the technology projects are obvious.
  • That is whyyou need to keep a business perspective on the IT planning efforts.
difficulty showing the benefits of technology projects in the plan cont2
DIFFICULTY SHOWING THE BENEFITS OFTECHNOLOGY PROJECTS IN THE PLAN cont…

Aactions and Prevention

  • Convince listeners
  • how do you sell and market technology projects effectively in the plan,especially if you cannot rely on benefits?
  • Use the method of fear and intimidation. Ex, Turn to medicine: How does a doctorconvince you to have an operation? You will endure pain, loss of work, cost,etc. If you do not undergo the surgicalprocedure, you could be very sick or die.
  • That is it. Let’s use it. Take the currenttechnology and project how it will deteriorate over time. Then show how thedeterioration can affect the business processes. We have used this technique forover 20 years. It has proven to be most effective.
limited or no resources to do the planning discussion
LIMITED OR NO RESOURCES TO DO THE PLANNINGDiscussion
  • We have IT groups of three or four people
  • There were noadditional resources for planning
  • It is often the same with larger IT groups.
  • However, you can still develop the plan. Any kind of planning takes time.
  • ITplanning requires knowledge of
    • technology,
    • the business, and
    • the current ITarchitecture, systems, and activities
  • Many firms hire consultants to create the plan. Often, the plan is created,the consultant is paid, then work goes on, and the plan is shelved.
  • very little participation of IT managementand staff in the planning process. There wasno commitment.
limited or no resources to do the planning
LIMITED OR NO RESOURCES TO DO THE PLANNING

IMPACT

  • Some people use the lack of resources as an excuse not to construct the ITplan
  • Or they may try to do a rush job
  • Some may try to adapt a plan from theirpast work

Detection

What is the attitude of IT management toward the IT planning effort? If theysee it as a “big deal” or if it is a major challenge, then there is a problem.

limited or no resources to do the planning actions and prevention
LIMITED OR NO RESOURCES TO DO THE PLANNINGActions and Prevention
  • Start with the attitude toward planning.
  • IT planning should not be viewedas a major project.
  • It should not require massive, dedicated resources.
  • In fact,if you have a number of dedicated planners, they canlose touch with reality.
  • They get overly involved in competitive, industrial, andtechnology assessments.
  • These may be useful, but they are not often critical
limited or no resources to do the planning actions and prevention1
LIMITED OR NO RESOURCES TO DO THE PLANNINGActions and Prevention
  • What is a suitable approach?
  • Treat IT planning as another limited project.
  • This should be work in addition to other work. That will put pressure to get theIT plan completed.
  • What is the role of consultants?
  • As advisors, they canprovide experience, guidelines, and checklists.
  • They can prevent you frommaking mistakes.
limited or no resources to do the planning actions and prevention2
LIMITED OR NO RESOURCES TO DO THE PLANNING Actions and Prevention

How can you develop the IT plan quickly?

  • Create candidate lists for the planning items — issues, objectives, etc.
  • Have business and IT review these. People are better at reacting tothings than trying to invent planning elements on blank paper.
  • With the lists in hand, develop candidate tables that relate the planningelements.
  • For example, objectives versus issues table can reveal howthe objectives interact to resolve the issues.
  • The table of issues versus actionitems can show that the fulfillment of the actions takes care of the issues.
  • This table-and-list approach can be developed incrementally.
    • It is fairly easy tounderstand. simpler to update than some massive text
slide51
LIMITED OR NO RESOURCES TO DO THE PLANNING Actions and PreventionHow can you develop the IT plan quickly?
failure of past planning efforts
FAILURE OF PAST PLANNING EFFORTS
  • Discussion

We have been saying: the planning effort either failed or the IT plan was never used. What for?

some of thereasons for past failure of IT plan

  • The plan was developed by one person in isolation or by a consultant.
  • There is no sharing of knowledge.
  • There is no sense of ownership.
  • The plan did not detail specific action items. The IT plan is too fuzzy.No one sees the value of it.
  • The plan is too technical. Management could not understand, so ITdiscards it.
failure of past planning efforts impact and detection
FAILURE OF PAST PLANNING EFFORTSImpact and Detection

Impact

  • New planning efforts may be discouraged
  • If thereis a new planning effort, there are no expectations.
  • After all, no one wants tobe involved and waste time and effort in another failure.

Detection

Look to see if there is a current plan and if it used. On the shelves of somemanagers may be evidence of past failed planning efforts. Did anyone try togather reasons for the failure? Probably not. Why? Because everyone justwanted to drop the past.

failure of past planning efforts1
FAILURE OF PAST PLANNING EFFORTS
  • Actions and Prevention

our most challenging IT planning efforts followed failures inplanning.

  • In some instances, a lot of money was wasted.
  • IT management mayhave a bad attitude toward IT planning.How do you proceed in such circumstances?
  • Do nottrumpet the benefits of the plan. Take a low profile.
  • Start with the approach of Building lists and get reactions.
  • You will not changeminds, but you will get people interested.
  • Effective method to turn round the –ve attitude:- find some actionitems that can be implemented rapidly

These will not be projects. They can belower-level policies or procedures. This will increase the confidence of IT inthe plan. It can also assist with business managers who may have the sameattitudes.

deciding whether the it plan should be business driven or it driven
DECIDING WHETHER THE IT PLANSHOULD BE BUSINESS DRIVEN OR IT DRIVEN

Discussion

  • Many IT plans are IT driven.
  • The plans are often overly technical.
  • do not relate to the business.
  • If the plan is IT driven, it may be too detailed.
    • May be relatively minor issues.
    • Very detailed action items
    • Some action items could be achieved in a few days or weeks.
deciding whether the it plan should be business driven or it driven1
DECIDING WHETHER THE IT PLANSHOULD BE BUSINESS DRIVEN OR IT DRIVEN

Impact

If the plan is IT driven, then

  • the level of detail may indicate to mgtthat it is not strategic.
  • It may be a plan for IT internally, but it is not a plan forhow IT can support the business. The plan fails.
  • An IT-driven plan may turn off business managers from any significantinvolvement.
  • They see the technical nature of the issues or action items and think that they do not apply to them.
  • As an example, network failures or shortcomingsmay be seen as unimportant if the network operation level is high.They may think, “This is technical stuff. Why should I get involved?”
deciding whether the it plan should be business driven or it driven2
DECIDING WHETHER THE IT PLANSHOULD BE BUSINESS DRIVEN OR IT DRIVEN
  • Detection
  • Look at how the IT planning effort starts
  • If only IT people are doing thethe planning
  • What is the level of detail of the issuesand action items?
  • Are the IT objectives and strategies worded in business terms,or are they technical too?
deciding whether the it plan should be business driven or it driven3
DECIDING WHETHER THE IT PLANSHOULD BE BUSINESS DRIVEN OR IT DRIVEN

Actions and Prevention

  • The IT plan should be business focused
  • The overall purpose of IT is
    • toprovide support to the business &
    • To bring change and improvement inthe business processes
  • How do you implement a business focus with technical information? Takeevery technical issue and turn it into a business statement.
  • For example, “Improvenetwork reliability” could be modified to “Increase reliability of IT infrastructurefor the processes.”
deciding whether the it plan should be business driven or it driven4
DECIDING WHETHER THE IT PLANSHOULD BE BUSINESS DRIVEN OR IT DRIVEN

Action and prevention cont…

  • Do the same with IT objectives and strategies. Add a phrase that indicates the benefits to thebusiness work.
  • Isn’t this just playing with words? Of course. However, remember that theIT plan is a tool for communicating between IT and the business.
  • The choiceof words is significant. It is just the same as personal relationships. You say thewrong words and it can take hours or days to recover.
business being unclear about what they would get from the plan
BUSINESS BEING UNCLEAR ABOUT WHAT THEY WOULD GET FROM THE PLAN

Discussion

  • This links to the issue on expectations.
  • Instead of high expectations, managersin this issue have no idea what to expect.
  • Why does this occur?
  • the past planning efforts were neither successful nor understandable
  • the managers lack direct experience or involvement inIT planning efforts and in plan reviews.
business being unclear about what they would get from the plan1
BUSINESS BEING UNCLEAR ABOUT WHAT THEY WOULD GET FROM THE PLAN

Impact

  • If management at first has no expectations,
  • they may quickly raise theirexpectations after even one meeting.
  • The fuzziness of expectations also canmean that the higher-level managers feel they have nothing to do.
  • Due to thefuzziness, they may not understand their roles
business being unclear about what they would get from the plan2
BUSINESS BEING UNCLEAR ABOUT WHAT THEY WOULD GET FROM THE PLAN

Detection

  • Sometimes the goals of the IT planning effortare not clearly defined.
  • IT managers make the assumption that managementwill understand, since they have business plans and are involved in theircreation. This is a sign of the problem.
  • This can happen because an IT managerwas promoted from a technical position in IT and is not politicallysophisticated
business being unclear about what they would get from the plan3
BUSINESS BEING UNCLEAR ABOUT WHAT THEY WOULD GET FROM THE PLAN

Actions and Prevention

  • Make clear what the purpose and scope of the IT plan is.
  • IT, by itself, doesnot result in change.
  • The IT plan lays out a framework for future change.
    • It isa roadmap to guide both business and IT in the direction of IT.
challenge in turning action items in plan into actions
CHALLENGE IN TURNING ACTION ITEMS IN PLAN INTO ACTIONS
  • Discussion

You have the IT plan completed. It has been reviewed and approved. Theplan contains specific action items that are related to business benefits. So whatis the problem?You have another battle to fight. There is ongoing work in the followingareas:

  • Emergency fixes
  • Targets of opportunity
  • Current projects
  • Support
  • Maintenance and enhancement
  • Backlog of work
  • The action items have to fight for funding and resources with entrenched workin all of these categories. The fight is going to be tough, but you have to win.
challenge in turning action items in plan into actions1
CHALLENGE IN TURNING ACTION ITEMS IN PLAN INTO ACTIONS

Impact

  • In the worst case, the action items are sacrificed on the grounds of convenienceand importance.
  • People will say that these are important and they willeventually do them.
  • It is the same with lives of individuals. People set goalsthat will change their lives.
  • Then they get buried under the pressures of dayto-day life.
  • Somehow time goes by and there is still no time to change. Newthings come up to divert them. That is probably why many goals are set, manyfewer are even attempted, and still fewer are attained.
challenge in turning action items in plan into actions2
CHALLENGE IN TURNING ACTION ITEMS IN PLAN INTO ACTIONS

Actions and Prevention

  • Begin with a political objective for the IT plan.
  • That goal is touse the plan to control support and maintenance, eliminate the backlog of work,and cut back on marginal projects. The IT plan is one of the best ways to dothis.
  • If you want people to work on something else, your best course of actionis to offer an alternative.
  • The action items in the IT plan can provide the guidanceto accomplish this.
challenge in turning action items in plan into actions actions and prevention cont
CHALLENGE IN TURNING ACTION ITEMS IN PLAN INTO ACTIONS Actionsand prevention cont…
  • How do you proceed? During the planning effort,
  • anticipate the battle ahead
  • Look for activities that can be reduced or eliminated.
  • Map the released andavailable resources to the action items.
  • By doing this you can see what additionalresources are necessary and what action items are covered.
  • Next, establish a review of all of the IT work and projects.
  • Thisshould be done quarterly to allow for changes, new project ideas, etc. Thereview can be initiated prior to the completion of the IT plan.
conclusions
CONCLUSIONS
  • IT planning is often viewed as necessary but as overhead.
  • The issues in thischapter can be resolved by taking the perspective of the role of systems andtechnology in the business.
  • The business depends heavily on IT for its survivaland effectiveness.
  • If there is a business plan; there should be an IT plan to showhow IT , in the future, can support the mission and vision of the business.
  • TheIT plan helps to show alignment of IT to the business. As such, IT managersshould realize that the IT plan is a powerful marketing and sales tool for ITwith management.
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